5 Garden Hacks for Seed-Sowing Success

Tips for Sowing Seeds in the Ground

July 4, 2016

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Find out how to improve seed germination rates, save time and make sowing easier, giving your seedlings the very best chance for success!

1. Home-made Seed Tapes

For this you’ll need a roll of toilet paper, a paste made from equal parts flour and water, and your seeds.

Roll out a strip of toilet paper as long as your row (or use squares of paper towel if planting in blocks). Place daubs of paste at the correct spacing on the paper. Pop two seeds onto each daub of paste, then fold the toilet paper in half lengthways. Once dry, label the seed tapes, roll them up and store until it’s time to sow. Just roll out the tape into the seed drill to sow, then cover with soil.

2. Tiny Seeds

Make tiny seeds less fiddly to sow by mixing a pinch of seeds with two teaspoons of fine, dry sand. Sprinkle the mix along your seed drill, then fill in the seed drill.

3. Big Seeds

Speed up germination of large seeds or seeds with a tough seed coat by gently rolling them between two sheets of sandpaper until the seed coat just starts to rub off.

Or, soak your seeds in a bowl of lukewarm water for 24 hours.

4. Make Seeds Easier to Identify

Line your seed drill with toilet paper to make it easier to see small, dark seeds so you can space them evenly.

Backfill your seed drill with potting soil so that the row stands out from the surrounding soil, showing exactly where seedlings should be.

Alternatively, mix quick-growing seeds such as radishes with slow growers like parsnips. The radishes will pop up quickly to show the location of the row, and will be harvested long before the parsnips need the space.

5. Pre-sprouting Seeds

Chitting (pre-sprouting) seeds which have a long germination time shortens the wait. You can also use it for any early-planted seeds to speed things up.

Line a sealable container with two sheets of damp paper towel. Add your seeds and cover with two more layers of damp paper towel. Put the lid on and keep the container in a warm place until the seeds start showing tiny roots. Plant them straight away.

Reader Comments

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Easier Seed Planting

When planting a row of seeds, I have a small diameter PVC pipe that is a comfortable length for me to use. After making a straight furrow in the soil, I hold the pipe at a slight angle and drag it in the furrow and drop the seeds down through the pipe. Prevents the seeds from bouncing out of the furrow when I drop them down. The just walk back covering the furrow.

Seed Starting

I start some of my plants indoors, with a small 2 tube fluorescent light. I keep the light on 247. This simulates continuous sunshine. Which encourage the seeds to sprout faster.

seed sowing tip

I place peas, beans, etc. on the surface of loosened soil and then just push them in up to the first finger joint. It's approximately one inch, mid digit would be two inches. A quick pinch closes the small hole.


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